NFL Mock Draft – I Only Need One.

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The title is a little ambitious… I do believe that, while fun to look at, mock drafts are rather worthless until the process, including the Senior Bowl, Scouting Combine and Pro Days, is wrapping up. That’s when you really have a better idea of where players will fall so by this point things should be pretty clear.

Not really.

This year is a total toss-up in terms of who will be drafting who. The draft has a heck of a lot of talent, just not as much “top-tier”/”instant stardom” talent as drafts have had in the past, particularly recently. This makes my job much more difficult as most of the players, even within the first-round are relatively interchangeable in terms of value. Teams are looking at multiple positions and nobody has any idea of how even the top part of the draft will shake out, so here I am to provide all the answers… or just take my own stab in the dark depending on how you personally read this.

First, a couple things to consider…

– Quarterbacks still remain a huge question mark. None of them really should be selected in the first round, yet Geno Smith from West Virginia has been pegged as a first rounder since the process began and now, with only hours until the draft, he has begun to fall out of mock drafts. Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse is instead being slotted with Buffalo at pick 8. I will get into the specifics below, but my point is that the quarterbacks are being projected everywhere. I personally think teams wait until the back half of the first round to trade into or simply wait until the second round, but I’m just like every other person out there trying to figure out the impossible.

– I’ll say it right now: this mock draft won’t be correct… no one will have a perfect one. Why? Because we can’t predict every trade that will occur. Last season, with the introduction of the rookie pay scale, we saw a record number of draft day trades and I think that pattern will continue especially with so much unknown at this point. I expect teams to move around a lot through trades and, while speculating on trades is possible, there will inevitably be one or two that are out of the dark and unexpected. I will try to point out teams who may trade around, but I will still operate my mock draft as if no trades will occur.


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– Running backs are probably not getting picked in the first round this year. The top running backs this year are all second-round values with upside, but there aren’t any players who should sneak into the first-round. Eddie Lacy out of Alabama has been the top guy for awhile, but I’m not convinced. I personally prefer UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin, but he shouldn’t be a first-rounder either.

– The strength of this draft is in the offensive and defensive lines where we could see a tremendous number of those players taken in the first-round.

– You may have noticed that I have compiled the top-5 quarterbacks into a “cheat sheet” where I provide my scouting report. I plan to continue to work on other positions as time becomes available, but those obviously won’t be done prior to Thursday night.

– Finally, please note that every player in “My Pick” is based on what was left on the board, as is the usual process for mock drafts, but the “Another Option” picks are also based on what is left. I will provide, within that pick, what other players they may have taken if available, but the pick itself is based on who is available.

Without further ado, my mock draft…

chiefs_50t1. Kansas City Chiefs

My Pick – OT Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M  245

– Joeckel has been pegged here for months now. He is the best player in this draft and fills a need for Kansas City. He should be able to shore up the left tackle spot for years.

Another Option – OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan  logo

– Fisher is the other guy being considered, to my knowledge. Kansas City has said they haven’t made up their mind, but Fisher and Joeckel are the guys they are choosing from.

302. Jacksonville Jaguars

My Pick – DE Dion Jordan – Oregon  oregon_50t

– This is where things immediately get a little dicey. Jacksonville could use a bit of everything so Fisher makes sense here, Joeckel is probably the pick if Kansas City goes elsewhere with their top pick and even a quarterback (Geno Smith) has been mocked here off and on for months. I think rushing the passer is essential in this league though and while Jacksonville has plenty of holes, they were dead last in sacks last season. New head coach, Gus Bradley, knows that and is coming in from Seattle with a defensive mindset. Jordan is versatile and would help shore up the most glaring issue on defense.

Another Option – OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan  logo

– I fall in the “Don’t draft Geno Smith in the first round category” and since I still think the Chiefs take Joeckel, Fisher is the guy who Jacksonville could take here.

oakland_raiders3. Oakland Raiders

My Pick – DT Sharrif Floyd – Florida  florida_50t

– I said above that Jacksonville needs a lot… well Oakland needs more. Jordan, Fisher, Smith and Floyd have all been pegged here and for good reason. Oakland is purging their roster of Al Davis players who are incredibly overpaid, but now, with not a lot of money and not a lot of players, who are good anyway, Oakland has to start from scratch again. I think they start with Floyd. He is very talented and supposed to be a game-changer. Oakland doesn’t really have a defensive line and you have to start building a team somewhere… why not in the trenches?

Another Option – OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan  logo

– Yes, this is the third time Fisher is here. He is a top prospect and is reportedly supposed to be a top 3 pick. I wanted to put Fisher here, but I just couldn’t. Look at Oakland’s roster. They could go anywhere with this and actually they are a good candidate to trade down to stockpile picks they desperately need. I’m not sure who would want to trade up… maybe one of the left tackle needy teams like Arizona, San Diego or Miami to get Fisher?

eagles_50t4. Philadelphia Eagles

My Pick – OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan  logo

– Finally… Fisher goes to Philadelphia because he is simply too good to pass up at this point, plus, he is a talented left tackle who has the athleticism to play up tempo in what I can only imagine will be the only tempo new head coach Chip Kelly runs. I know Philly doesn’t have the dire need at tackle that some teams do, but this would be a smart pick with starting LT Jason Peters coming off another injury.

Another Option – CB Dee Milliner – Alabama  alabama_50t

– In this mock, Jordan is gone, who will probably be the pick if he is still here, and cornerback is a need. I don’t think Philadelphia takes a quarterback here. They may trade back, pick up some picks and use a late first rounder (acquired in my hypothetical trade) or their second-rounder on a guy like QB E.J. Manuel, but it’s difficult to say for sure.

hi-256-0-5f050814400fe140242c08b97e1cac49cb6a6e185. Detroit Lions

My Pick – DE Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah – BYU  lgo_ncaa_byu

– Ziggy is a high potential player who is just beginning to fully grasp the game. He reminds many of New York Giant’s Jason Pierre-Paul with his raw ability and for the Lions, that is a fantastic thing. The Lions lost DE Cliff Avril to Seattle during free agency and don’t have a game-changer at the end position to step up. While Ziggy will need time to get used to the game, Detroit knows that with DTs Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh, Ziggy should be able to find success in year one.

Another Option – CB Dee Milliner – Alabama  alabama_50t

– The common fall back when talking about the Lions and the draft is that they need cornerbacks to shore up their secondary. Milliner is the best corner in this class and has the speed and size to be a major factor on this defense. That said, Ansah would actually take care of a bigger need. Milliner still makes sense as does T Eric Fisher if he drops here.

lgo_nfl_cleveland_browns6. Cleveland Browns

My Pick – CB Dee Milliner – Alabama  alabama_50t

– I have seen Milliner here and Ansah. I don’t think Cleveland is going to take a pass rusher with their first-pick, in large part because of their free agency spending spree to get DT Desmond Bryant (I realize he isn’t a pass rusher) and OLB/DE Paul Kruger. Milliner and CB Joe Haden would make a frightening secondary combination. Browns should be excited if the draft falls this way and the defense continues it’s offseason remodel.

Another Option – Trading back/an offensive player

– Cleveland still needs a game-changing receiver, possibly a new quarterback and could live without Milliner. This makes trading back in the first-round to maybe target a player like former West Virginia WR Tavon Austin an option. Once again the top trade partners would be teams looking to grab former Oklahoma Sooner T Lane Johnson before Arizona takes him with the next pick (San Diego, Miami). If Ansah is left on the board at this point, he would be a great pick here for Cleveland because, despite what I said above, you can never have too many pass rushers.

cardinals_50t7. Arizona Cardinals

My Pick – OT Lane Johnson – Oklahoma  lgo_ncaa_oklahoma_sooners

– Arizona was atrocious protecting the passer last season and that should be the primary focus in the first round, especially after acquiring QB Carson Palmer from Oakland. Lane Johnson is ridiculously athletic (as are all of these top tackles it seems) and he could be very good for a very long time. I like this to be the pick assuming another tackle needy team doesn’t trade ahead of Arizona. If that happens I expect…

Another Option – OG Chance Warmack – Alabama  alabama_50t

– Warmack is a great guard prospect who played at Alabama, which certainly doesn’t hurt, and he performed at a high level. I think Warmack is the pick if Johnson, Fisher and Joeckel are all gone and they very well could be. Plus, Arizona is returning their top tackles so maybe Warmack makes more sense? Ehh… they’ll do whatever they think keeps their quarterback the healthiest.

bills_50t8. Buffalo Bills

My Pick – OG Chance Warmack – Alabama  alabama_50t

– In the last couple days I have seen reports that Buffalo is looking at at quarterback here and that quarterback will be USC QB Matt Barkley instead of Syracuse product, Ryan Nassib (head coach Doug Marrone coached Nassib). Another report said the Bills like Florida State QB E.J. Manuel and then another said Buffalo was thinking of taking Nassib here so the Jets didn’t take him with the 9th pick. So… I have decided to go in a completely different direction and have them taking the guard from Alabama who will fit in nicely for the recently departed Andy Levitre via free agency. I do think Buffalo could be looking to trade back potentially and then take a QB or I could also see, particularly for this draft class, taking a guy like Warmack here and waiting until the second-round to address the QB dilemma.

Another Option – WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia  lgo_ncaa_west_virginia

– Again, I’m avoiding the quarterback…thing and instead presenting a different take all together. Buffalo could use another receiver to compliment Steve/Stevie Johnson and Austin is such a dynamic player that he would be the perfect compliment. While Austin may not be physically big enough to become a true number one receiver (although Carolina WR Steve Smith has done just fine for himself), he could be dangerous in the Bills offense. Plus, if they do listen to me and take a quarterback in the second, they would have this guy to throw to. That can’t be a bad thing, right?

jets_50t9. New York Jets

My Pick – DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo  lsu-tigers

– The Jets just lost star CB Darrelle Revis, so they go corner right? Well, maybe with their 13th pick, if they keep it. The only corner that really deserves to go here would be Milliner, especially with the lengthy and versatile Mingo on the board. The Jets need a pass rusher and between him and last years first-rounder, Quinton Coples, you would think they would be in good shape.

Another Option – DT Star Lotulelei – Utah  utah_utes

– Why is everyone’s name so hard to spell? Lotulelei would be another option here for New York, again, assuming they actually keep this pick and don’t trade up for a guy like Milliner. Despite New York’s success defensively over the Rex Ryan era, it looks like they will be looking there in the first-round, but I did see a rumor that they could be strongly considering WR Tavon Austin.

1010. Tennessee Titans

My Pick – DT Star Lotulelei – Utah  utah_utes

– This another pick that I have seen “mocked” a lot recently. At one point, Lotulelei was considered in the running to be the top pick, but questions about effort and a health scare at the Scouting Combine saw his stock drop a little. Tennessee could look at the Utah product and see a powerful defensive tackle who they haven’t seen since Albert Haynesworth was good (I was going to provide a link to video as a little refresher, but I couldn’t find any good highlights because it’s Albert Haynesworth).

Another Option – Scraps from Top-10 picks

– With how I have laid this out to this point, I don’t really know where else they would go. They could take G Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina, but Tennessee signed a couple high-caliber guards during free agency and none of the other players really fit too well outside maybe Texas S Kenny Vaccaro who is a hot commodity with the next 10 teams or so. Tennessee would probably take Milliner if he was still here, which is something I have seen in a couple mock drafts.

chargers_50t11. San Diego Chargers

My Pick – OG Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina  unc_50

– San Diego is a team that very well could move up to try and get one of the top offensive tackles (Lane Johnson, Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel), but for now let’s assume it doesn’t happen. I think they take Cooper who is a great prospect, much like Warmack who I have going a couple picks earlier, and  it would fill a need as San Diego works to protect QB Phillip Rivers.

Another Option – OT D.J. Fluker – Alabama  alabama_50t

– Need can force some crazy things come draft day. The Chargers desperately need offensive line help, but more specifically, help at offensive tackle. If they can’t/don’t trade up, I don’t think Lane Johnson slides to them and they may take the next best guy who is Fluker, maybe even after trading back. Fluker isn’t as coveted as Johnson, Fisher or Joeckel and this is probably a little early for him, but it could happen.

dolphins_50t12. Miami Dolphins

My Pick – OT D.J. Fluker – Alabama  alabama_50t

– First of all, I apologize for not being current yet with my Dolphins logo. It’s an ongoing process to update those logos around Football Fan Source. As for the pick, I think, based on what is left on out board here, Miami would go with Fluker who fills a need at tackle (with former first-round pick, Jake Long, departing for St. Louis via free agency).

Another Option – CB Xavier Rhodes – Florida State  lgo_ncaa_florida_state_seminoles

– This is right around where WR Tavon Austin should be coming off the board and I have seen TE Tyler Eifert mocked to Miami a couple times and I wouldn’t be surprised if Vaccaro is taken here either. I think a solid option here is to grab Rhodes, who would help Miami’s secondary, which just lost CB Sean Smith to free agency.

jets_50t13. New York Jets

My Pick – TE Tyler Eifert – Notre Dame  notred_50

– I still think New York will probably use at least one of their first rounders to move around, but if they still have this pick, I think they take the Notre Dame product. They just lost TE Dustin Keller in free agency and if there is any hope for QB Mark Sanchez, it is providing him with weapons, particularly a solid check down tight end like Keller before. Eifert would fit that mold.

Another Option – CB Xavier Rhodes – Florida State  lgo_ncaa_florida_state_seminoles

– With Revis gone, the Jets will need to go corner at some point during the draft and why not go after arguably the second best corner prospect?

lgo_nfl_carolina_panthers14. Carolina Panthers

My Pick – DT Sheldon Richardson – Missouri  missouri_tigers

– Carolina has a couple different options here as S Kenny Vaccaro is intriguing as is another DT in Sylvester Williams from North Carolina who has really risen up draft boards lately. Tackle is a need, but when it’s all said and done I think they take Richardson. Carolina has been a joke against the run the past couple years. It doesn’t matter if Cam Newton really is Superman, he needs the defense to stop the run and that starts with bringing in a talented, athletic, high potential guy to put in the middle.

Another Option – S Kenny Vaccaro – Texas  texas_longhorns

– Vaccaro has been mocked here from the very beginning as safety is also a glaring need. There are plenty of teams within a couple picks after Carolina who are really hoping Vaccaro is left for them.

lgo_nfl_new_orleans_saints15. New Orleans Saints

My Pick – OLB Jarvis Jones – Georgia  georgia_bulldogs

– The key here is new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, who is implementing his 3-4 defensive scheme. They signed former Cowboy OLB Victor Butler, who I think could be a surprise performer, in free agency and have a couple guys capable of rushing the passer, but you can never have too many. Jones another guy who was considered a potential top pick before health concerns came up and a mediocre performance at his pro day has his stock dropping. I still think he is a fantastic player and guy who reminds some of Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs. I personally think Jones could drop even further than here because of those concerns, but in this mock draft, I’m taking him here.

Another Option – S Kenny Vaccaro – Texas  texas_longhorns

– Once again, a lot of teams in the middle part of the first-round want Vaccaro. The big question is who will take him? He seems like a fit here with safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins having down years last season, but, in my mind, Jones makes more sense here, so… Vaccaro continues to sit in my virtual draft room.

lgo_nfl_st16. St. Louis Rams

My Pick – S Kenny Vaccaro – Texas  texas_longhorns

– Vaccaro finally comes off the board here. I considered WR Tavon Austin, who would give QB Sam Bradford a dangerous weapon, but Vaccaro fills a bigger need as both starting safeties from last season are gone. With a second pick in the first-round courtesy of the Robert Griffin III trade from a year ago, I expect St. Louis to use that pick to get a receiver.

Another Option – WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia  lgo_ncaa_west_virginia

– Like I said above, Austin makes a lot of sense here, but St. Louis has a couple young receivers on the roster who have potential, so maybe Austin isn’t the top option with this pick.

500px-Pittsburgh_Steelers_logo17. Pittsburgh Steelers

My Pick – WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia  lgo_ncaa_west_virginia

– Just how impossible is it to project the first-round this year? I mentioned Austin as an option at pick 8 and then haven’t said much since. He is dynamic and could be taken high or teams could look at his size and pass for more pressing issues. With Pittsburgh losing WR Mike Wallace to Miami in free agency, there isn’t a pressing need at receiver (with Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown on roster still), but depth will have to be addressed in the first half of the draft and if Austin falls this far, Pittsburgh could do a lot worse than the dynamic speedster.

Another Option – WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee  tennessee_volunteers

– Kenny Vaccaro, Tyler Eifert and Jarvis Jones are the guys most commonly mocked here to Pittsburgh, but in my mock draft they are gone so as “Another Option”, I’ll put another receiver. Patterson is bigger and his high ceiling, but there are questions about his ability to pick up an NFL offense.

cowboysb_logo18. Dallas Cowboys

My Pick – DT Sylvester Williams – North Carolina  unc_50

– Dallas will be holding their breath, hoping Vaccaro isn’t gone, but assuming he is, the Cowboys will look at defensive tackle where they currently have two starters how are 30 and 31-years-old. Williams would be a nice addition to bring some youth to the front as they make the adjustment to the 4-3 defense.

Another Option – S Eric Reid – LSU  lsu-tigers

– This really depends on how determined Dallas is to end up with a safety in the first round. Reid’s value is floating from around here to the second-round so it is hard to predict where he may go. With Vaccaro gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas sticks with a safety pick and takes Reid.

giants_50t19. New York Giants

My Pick – DE Cornellius Carradine – Florida State  lgo_ncaa_florida_state_seminoles

– Carradine is relatively unproven after having limited starting time at Florida State. That said, he has the raw talent to be a solid pro who would fit nicely with the Giants defensive line rotation. Carradine may need a little time to fully materialize, but the Giants took the same approach with current star DE Jason Pierre-Paul a couple years ago and that seems to have worked out pretty well.

Another Option – LB Alec Ogletree – Georgia  georgia_bulldogs

– This has been the trendy match over the last couple months as Ogletree would provide a very athletic, explosive element to the Giants defense at the linebacker position. I personally think New York will look to take an interior lineman in the second round and won’t be surprised if Ogletree is the first-rounder.

bears_50t20. Chicago Bears

My Pick – LB Manti Te’o – Notre Dame  notred_50

– Brian Urlacher is gone and Chicago needs another middle linebacker who can be a leader and obviously play at a high level. I think Te’o is that guy and I think Chicago pulls the trigger on this move. We all know the drama that surrounds Te’o and his poor combine performance, but I still don’t think things are so bad in relation to Te’o. He would be a good addition in Chicago. Another guy mentioned here is Kansas State LB Arthur Brown.

Another Option – CB Xavier Rhodes – Florida State  lgo_ncaa_florida_state_seminoles

– This may be a little bit of a surprise pick, but the Bears defense has been the strength of the team for years and, obviously, it would be good for Bears fans if the defense remains a top unit, so Chicago needs to bring in some younger playmakers. CB Charles Tillman is still a great player, but he is aging (32) and this could be a great opportunity to plan for the future.

BengalsLogo50_medium21. Cincinnati Bengals

My Pick – S John Cyprien – Florida International  florida_international

– Over the past couple years, Cincinnati has actually drafted well because they drafted best player available. I think this year will be more of the same, so if a player drops unexpectedly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cincinnati drafts them regardless if it is a position of need. Cyprien happens to be a position of need for the Bengals though and is a playmaker. As a physical, hard-hitting safety, I could see Cincy falling in love with him. Defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, always seems to be looking for a physical safety to pair with starter Reggie Nelson, but this time they get him.

Another Option – RB Eddie Lacy – Alabama  alabama_50t

– I personally don’t think will happen, but it’s certainly an option being thrown around among draft experts. Personally, I prefer UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin as fitting in with what the Bengals want to do and I would expect them to get Franklin with one of their two second-round picks. If Cyprien isn’t the pick above, I expect them to take the best player available, a safety with their first second-round pick and a running back like Franklin with their second second-rounder.

lgo_nfl_st22. St. Louis Rams

My Pick – LB Alec Ogletree – Georgia  georgia_bulldogs

– I don’t think St. Louis makes this selection because they are apparently shopping this pick and I imagine the most likely scenario is that they get a taker like Philadelphia, Buffalo or Oakland who are looking for a quarterback. If St. Louis does make this pick, I like the idea of it being Ogletree. St. Louis has demonstrated in the past that they aren’t afraid of “character concerns”, which come with Ogletree and he would give St. Louis a talented linebacker that could be used in a variety of ways in different spots. The versatility is what makes this pick for me.

Another Option – RB Eddie Lacy – Alabama  alabama_50t

– This selection actually may happen. Again, if St. Louis keeps this pick, they may look to take Lacy who would be a solid replacement for recently departed RB Stevan Jackson. I imagine the Rams will be adding to their backfield depth despite having returning second-year players in Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, so why not now?

vikings_50t23. Minnesota Vikings

My Pick – WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee  tennessee_volunteers

– Minnesota has two picks in the first-round because they traded WR Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for a couple draft picks. Losing Harvin leaves a huge hole at receiver even with the free agent acquisition of former Packer WR Greg Jennings. Patterson has his question marks (ability to grasp a NFL offense), but he also has the potential to be the top receiver Minnesota needs.

Another Option – DT Jesse Williams – Alabama  alabama_50t

– Minnesota needs a defensive tackle so if Sheldon Richardson, or Sylvester Williams are around at this pick, there is a very good chance they become Vikings. In this mock draft, those guys are gone and the next guy up is Jesse Williams. I like Patterson over Williams for this pick, but Williams may be Minnesota’s next pick (at #25).

colts_50t24. Indianapolis Colts

My Pick – CB Xavier Rhodes – Florida State  lgo_ncaa_florida_state_seminoles

– Indianapolis is a solid, young team, but it really could use another solid corner and Rhodes has the combination of size and athleticism to be quite the player down the road. Oh, and there are also reports that Indianapolis is being contacted about potentially trading this pick… just like everyone else.

Another Option – CB D.J. Hayden – Houston  

– Hayden has quickly risen up draft boards and has gained attention, not only for his ability, but for his miraculous story. From other mocks I’ve seen and from what I’ve gathered elsewhere a cornerback here seems to be likely for the Colts.

vikings_50t25. Minnesota Vikings

My Pick – CB D.J. Hayden – Houston  

– I think Minnesota needs to consider a cornerback early and without any of the top defensive tackles available, I think this is the guy they take. This is, once again, assuming they keep this pick. They may trade back and this could very well be where you see a quarterback taken.

Another Option – DT Jesse Williams – Alabama  alabama_50t

– I still think Jesse Williams is an option here because of the need at defensive tackle, but I think Hayden is a better pick here.

packers_50t26. Green Bay Packers

My Pick – S Eric Reid – LSU  lsu-tigers

– Green Bay needs some secondary help in the form of a safety. If Reid is gone (Cincinnati could take him), then expect Green Bay to take a good look at drafting John Cyprien or trading back and selecting a running back at the end of the round or early second round. Speaking of running backs…

Another Option – Giovani Bernard – North Carolina  unc_50

– This may seem like a reach, because it is, but Bernard would be a good fit in Green Bay. I’ve seen Lacy mocked here and I’m not sure if Lacy fits well with the Packers’ passing attack. Through scouting Bernard, I feel he is a complete back in terms of pass catching and running ability, which would allow him to seamlessly adjust to the Packers offense. Bernard reminds me of Patriots RB Stevan Ridley, who is a key element of the spread passing attack in New England like what Bernard could be in Green Bay.

texans27. Houston Texans

My Pick – WR Justin Hunter – Tennessee  tennessee_volunteers

– Houston is still looking for a compliment to WR Andre Johnson after spending two high draft picks on receivers last year. Hunter is incredibly impressive physically with great size and athleticism. He has the raw makings of a star receiver, which has to be tempting in Houston.

Another Option – WR Robert Woods – USC  usc_50

– Receiver is the consensus pick, but if you have someone sitting on the board like DL Bjoern Werner, Houston is in a situation where they can take best available without worrying about glaring holes in their roster. As for Woods, he is a prospect who is just a solid player. With Hunter there is risk that everything won’t come together, and while anything can happen, it feels like Woods is more of a sure thing as far as being a contributor. Really depends on preference and how you plan to use these two players.

broncos_50t28. Denver Broncos

My Pick – DL Bjoern Werner – Florida State  lgo_ncaa_florida_state_seminoles

– Werner was at one time considered a top-5 pick, but has dropped as teams wonder if there is anything spectacular about him athletically. He is solid player who can get after the quarterback and plays fast, but doesn’t have the same glisten that other prospects do. Denver doesn’t care in this scenario. He would provide a wonderful replacement for DE Elvis Dumervil

Another Option – LB Kevin Minter – LSU  lsu-tigers

– Denver could also look at Minter who would help shore up the inside linebacker position and provide solid run support while LB Von Miller continues to harass quarterbacks.

lgo_nfl_new_england_patriots29. New England Patriots

My Pick – CB Jamar Taylor – Boise St.  

– Taylor is another player who has shot up draft boards and could sneak into the back part of the first round. This also just seems like a Patriots pick. A tough, physical corner who probably will make everyone who passed on him look bad.

Another Option – Trading back

– What else would they do? There are a bunch of teams looking for quarterbacks, but too afraid to take their guy too early (at least according to my perfect mock draft), so naturally, I think those teams will look to trade back into the end of the first round much like Cleveland did for QB Brandon Weeden a year ago. New England will most likely trade with one of those teams or draft a guy like OL Menelik Watson from Florida State.

falcons_50t30. Atlanta Falcons

My Pick – CB Desmond Trufant – Washington  

– Trufant would help fill a need at cornerback opposite of Asante Samuel, which is vacant after Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson went elsewhere in free agency.

Another Option – TE Zach Ertz – Stanford  

– I really wanted to make Ertz the real pick, but corner is a more pressing matter. TE Tony Gonzalez is back for another go around, but a replacement needs to be brought in soon. Ertz would make sense for that reason alone.

49ers-logo31. San Francisco 49ers

My Pick – DL Datone Jones – UCLA  logo_ucla

– Call this a hunch. I know San Francisco doesn’t need another pass rusher or defensive lineman, but Jones is so versatile that I could see San Francisco taking him for quality depth, developing him and using him everywhere. Plus, there aren’t any major needs in San Fran, so they can afford to be a little greedy.

Another Option – TE Zach Ertz – Stanford  

– Ertz was recruited by 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and San Francisco just lost TE Delanie Walker to Tennessee during free agency. This is a bit of a “puzzle piece” pick where it just seems to make sense. I’m still standing by my Datone Jones pick because projecting Ertz to San Fran just seems a little too easy…

ravens_50t32. Baltimore Ravens

My Pick – LB Arthur Brown – Kansas St.  

– In my ideal world where this mock draft comes true, Brown slides because of concerns about his size. His speed is a positive as he can get around the field very well and is still a solid linebacker despite his relative lack of size. So… whatever team drafts him will have to keep offensive lineman off of him so he can use his speed and natural athleticism to find and take down the ballcarrier. Sound familiar (Ray Lewis)?

Another Option – WR Keenan Allen – California  

– Allen is widely considered the most “pro-ready” receiver in the draft class, but lacks the breakaway speed to really draw a lot of early attention. Some say he reminds them of former Ravens WR and current 49ers WR Anquan Boldin. Adding Allen, while unlikely at this pick, would be an option.


Author: Blaine

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